Longsnapper Johnny Den Bleyker joins UCLA’s 2016 class

UCLA has landed a verbal commitment from longsnapper Johnny Den Bleyker, securing its highest-ranked prospect at the position in more than half a decade.

Den Bleyker is rated the No. 2 longsnapper in the country by Chris Rubio, and will be the successor to soon-to-be redshirt senior Christopher Longo. Longo — who has held the spot for the past two years — was ranked the No. 17 recruit at the position in 2011, and walked on before earning a scholarship.

The Bruins’ two previous starters are both currently in the NFL: Kevin McDermott, who was ProKicker.com’s No. 6 longsnapper in 2008, signed with the Baltimore Ravens in October; Christian Yount, who was Rubio’s top-ranked prospect in 2006, joined the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and signed a five-year extension in 2013.

Den Bleyker’s older brother Alex just finished a longsnapping career at Washington State as a three-year starter.

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